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tv   NBC Nightly News With Lester Holt  NBC  September 25, 2020 2:06am-2:36am PDT

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tonight president trump's unprecedented attack on america's election, the president again today casting doubt on the legitimacy of the upcoming vote after refusing to commit to a peaceful transfer of power if he loses to joe biden. even top allies in the senate now pushing back. and the moment on live tv, the president at the supreme court, booed as he paid respects to ruth bader ginsburg. also outrage boiling over, louisville on edge after two officers are shot during breonna taylor protests. the suspect now under arrest. demonstrations from coast-to-coast, violent clashes with police, molotov cocktails thrown, a car plowing into a crowd. taylor's family attorney calling the
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decision not to charge police for her death a sham. the fbi director telling congress he's seen no evidence of coordinated mail-in voter fraud, despite the president's claims as early voting gets under way in another key battleground. >> the race for a covid vaccine, will states be ready to roll one out inside the massive mission. the alarming number of passengers exposed to covid on planes. are the airlines' extreme cleaning measures enough to save the industry. the dangerous challenge sweeping tiktok, the fda taking action. and celebrating 500,000 wishes come true >> announcer: this is "nbc nightly news" with lester holt. good evening, everyone, in a year and a season where shock is hardly in short supply what may be among the most stunning words spoken by an american president are loudly resonating tonight president trump's refusal to commit to a peaceful transfer of power should he lose the election
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the president dangling doubt over one of the most powerful rights of american democracy. peter alexander starts us off tonight. >> reporter: if president trump visited the supreme court out of respect for the late ruth bader ginsburg he received little of it in return. a chorus of boos from the crowd below, some chanting respect her wish, and vote him out. with the election just 40 days away president trump trailing joe biden in most polls is bulldozing one of the fundamental principles of american democracy, refusing to commit to the peaceful transfer of power. >> will you commit to making sure that there is a peaceful transferral of power after the election >> we'll have to see what happens you know that, i've been complaining very strongly about the ballots and the ballots are a disaster. >> reporter: the president amplifying his crusade -- to cast doubt on the election's integrity ramping up his claims that an expected surge in mail-in voting will lead t widespread fraud,
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though there's no evidence that's true tonight with the white hous insisting the president would accept the results of a free and fair election. president trump suggested the vote may be tainted. >> are the election results only legitimate if you win? >> so we have to be very careful with the ballots. the ballots, that's a whole big scam. >> reporter: democrats comparing the president to a dictator. >> you are not in russia, mr. president. and by the way, you are not in saudi arabia you are in the united states of america. it is a democracy. >> reporter: a small group of republicans also disapproving, but few, if any, condemning president trump by name. senate majority leader mitch mceeting there will be an orderly transition just as there has en every four years since unthinkable and unacceptable there have been contentious elections before, but the loser has always accepted defeat. >> for the sake of our unity as a people and the strength of our
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democracy, i offer my concession >> reporter: president trump's now pushing to confirm a ninth supreme court justice before the election, anticipating the court with a new solidly conservative majority could be asked to weigh in if the results are contested. his ally lindsey graham. >> the courts will hear all of our complaints, the courts will decide and with will accept the court's decision, republican and democrat, i promise you as a republican if the supreme court rules in favor of joe biden i will accept that result. >> reporter: biden firing back at the president overnight. >> what country are we in look, he says the most irrational things. >> reporter: tonight with millions of americans losing their health insurance in the pandemic president trump signed what's largely a symbolic executive order making it u.s. government policy that people with preexisting conditions should be protected, but right now the trump administration is in court trying to strike down obamacare, which already guarantees that protection by law.
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lester >> all right, peter, thank you. the president's comments in the transfer of power very much in the minds of voters, including those in michigan, where early voting has begun, and mail-in ballots are being sent nbc's garrett haake is there for us >> reporter: valerie vest wouldn't wait one day longer to cast her ballot for joe biden. >> i ran down here, just wanted to be first in line. >> reporter: spurred into action on the first day of early voting by the president's refusal last night to commit to a peaceful transition of power. >> i was shocked how could he not if you're voted out, dude, you've got to just walk out. you know what i mean you can't just fight it what's the -- that's a child. you know what i mean, he's acting like a child. >> reporter: does hearing that affect your decision to come vote in person as opposed to by mail or some other way >> yes, yes, yes. >> it's just too much drama. >> reporter: linda thomas heard the president's comments as a made for tv distraction. >> he's a spoiled child. he does things to get attention and to
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distract you from other things. >> reporter: trump supporter mark wakowski said any transition fears are overblown. >> no, i think he's just going to -- if he's happy with the end results i think he'll leave on january 20 peacefully. he's not going to stay in there like nancy pelosi says. >> reporter: all told, some form of voting is now under way in 24 states including critical battlegrounds like michigan, north carolina and pennsylvania in michigan voters have requested 2.3 million absentee ballots, a number that would represent nearly half of the total votes cast here in 2016 this morning in suburban warren oi31,000 requested by a voter, were sorted, stacked and sent off to the post office, under the watchful eye of the local police in time to meet the state deadline today election officials here say voting early by mail or in person
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is safe and secure >> i'm confident in my office and my staff and everybody. we do a great job. >> reporter: biden supporters are more likely to vote early and trump supporters likely to vote on election day that's what we found in this county which donald trump carried none of the voters we talked to who were voting early said they were backing the president. lester >> garrett haake tonight, thank you. in the middle of all this the fbi director has said he has seen no sign of large scale voter fraud by mail, despite the president's warnings pete williams is following this, what did the director have to say >> reporter: the comment by fbi director christopher wray at a congressional hearing did not directly respond to what the president has said but wray said trying to affect the election by fraud would be hard to pull off. >> we have not seen historically any kind of coordinated national voter fraud effort in a major election whether it's by mail or otherwise we have seen voter fraud at the local
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level from time to time certainly to change a federal election outcome by mounting that kind of fraud at scale would be a major challenge for an adversary. but people should make no mistake, we're vigilant as to the threat, and watching it carefully. >> reporter: wray said u.s. intelligence has not seen any sign of foreign countries trying to send in fake ballots. lester >> pete williams tonight, thanks. turning to the breonna taylor case, louisville, kentucky on edge again tonight, expecting more protests after two police officers were shot last night, a suspect is now under arrest gabe gutierrez is there tonight. >> reporter: after another night of unrest tonight one of the two officers shot louisville is out of the hospital the other is recovering from surgery, a suspect is under arrest this gunfire captured in a police live stream. >> officer down, right there. >> officer down. >> reporter: in the
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area where the officers were shot, in all, more than 125 arrests. >> violence will only be a source of pain, not a cure for pain. and we know that violence is never the answer >> reporter: after the grand jury's decision not to charge officers with causing breonna taylor's death -- >> her family, as do i, think these proceedings were a sham proceeding that did not give breonna taylor a voice. >> say her name! >> breonna taylor. >> reporter: anger erupted across the country from new york to atlanta, to los angeles. >> whoa! >> reporter: turning violent in denver and buffalo where cars plowed into protesters and in portland, where this molotov cocktail was thrown at police taylor's cousin joins this rally in michigan. >> the judicial system did another injustice, to our family. >> reporter: former louisville officer brett hankison was charged with wanton endangerment for shooting recklessly, the bullets ending up
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in a neighboring apartment. he's out on bail his lawyer says he intends to plead not guilty two other officers were not charged, the attorney general is saying their actions were justified a critical dispute in this case is did officers announce themselves before they rammed the door of taylor's apartment right here the kentucky attorney general says they did. and that it's backed up by one eyewitness but kenneth walker, taylor's boyfriend, says they did not identify themselves so he thought an intruder was breaking in and he fired his licensed weapon do you believe that the attorney general is blaming kenneth walker for breonna taylor's death >> yes >> reporter: frederick moore is walker's attorney who says multiple eyewitnesses contradict the police. he along with the governor is calling on th attorney general to release evidence from the grand jury proceedings. >> tell us what you did, tell us what you said, show us the file show us your investigation. >> reporter: an fbi civil rights investigation is still under way, so is an internal police probe
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into other officers, including the one who obtained the search warrant. >> when you're around , i stress a lot. >> reporter: leaked jailhouse recordings and a police memo obtained by nbc news reveal that her ex-boyfriend who was arrested for dealing drugs earlier this year used her address. that led police to think she held drugs and money. but attorneys for taylor's family say there was not enough evidence to secure a warrant for her apartment, where no drugs or money were found. and that the botched raid exposed systemic flaws in louisville's police department. this summer the metro council passed breonna's law banning no knock warrants and last week police reforms were part of a $12 million civil settlement you never heard the police identify themselves. >> no. >> reporter: this woman lives in one of the apartments upstairs. >> it's sad, it's scary. the police did this to her. they'r supposed to be here to help up. >> reporter: much of the city is still locked down. for a second straight night a curfew is in effect lester
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>> gabe gutierrez, thank you. it's worth emphasizing most of the protests around the country were peaceful the decision not to charge anyone in breonna taylor's death met with profound disappointment and anger, especially among black women. blayne alexander is also in louisville. >> say her name! >> breonna taylor. >> reporter: beneath the fury fueling many of the protests, there is pain. when you heard the decision announced what was your first reaction >> disappointed, very, very disappointed, sad, angry. >> reporter: especially strong for many black women wnba star renee montgomery is sitting out this season to focus on social justice, motivated by taylor's death. >> i kept on just thinking, man, she really didn't do anything wrong and the system still didn't give her justice. >> reporter: for months louisville resident and her daughter marched together. >> as a black woman it's highly personal having my ow daughter being named breonna, highly personal. >> reporter: for so many a painful
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reminder of the many inequities facing black women around things like health care, income and social justice striking a universal cord, even among celebrities. >> i'm so disappointed and unfortunately not surprised. >> reporter: lebron james in a tweet quoting malcolm x, the most disrespected person on earth is the black woman. >> the wanton endangerment charge, it just doesn't make sense when you think about they have wanton endangerment for the white neighbors' apartment, the bullets going there, but not for the bullets going into breonna taylor's body. >> reporter: and that, they say, is why they won't stop. >> we just keep putting a band-aid on this while the wound is still bleeding out, nothing is ever going to get solved. >> reporter: blayne alexander, nbc news, louisville, kentucky in 60 seconds, how a dry ice shortage is one of the challenges for gearing up for mass covid vaccinations
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for all the focus on getting a safe and effective covid vaccine approved that's only the first step the next big challenge distributing it across the u.s. stephanie gosk now, how dry ice figures into that massive mission. >> reporter: on a street corner in cambridge, massachusetts acme dry ice is hotter than ever. >> acme ice, may i help you we've gotten calls as far as california, seattle, chicago, texas, you know, arkansas. >> reporter: people are calling you here in cambridge to get dry ice across the country? >> yeah, because there's no product there. >> reporter: he says 75% of his business is from vaccine developers and they're just in phase three trials right now, this isn't even actual production yet. >> right, i mean, this hasn't even hit yet. >> reporter: when approval comes millions of doses will have to be transported and stored around the country. ups has built freezer farms louisville, kentucky and overseas
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in the netherlands at mass general hospital in boston the chief pharmacist is getting ready for the first shipment. >> this is what we use for just our daily operation. >> reporter: like a flu vaccine would be in here. >> flu vaccine. >> reporter: but pfizer's vaccine for covid, one of the most likely to be approved early on, has to be kept as low as negative 80 degrees celsius. negative 80 degrees celsius is colder than the arctic. >> yes, it is. this is not somethin you go to lowe's and home depot to buy. >> reporter: it's not just one vaccine in the pipeline how difficult is that? you don't know what it's going to be, it could be the one stored a negative 80 or negative 20. you've got to be prepared for all of it. >> it's a challenge. that's why we're starting now. >> reporter: the cdc asked states to have vaccination plans ready by november. >> this is definitely probably the most daunting task we've had to undertake in terms of the sheer number of people we're going to have to get vaccinated. >> reporter: there will be a limite supply at first, going
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to health care workers and high risk groups the vaccinations will need to be tracked some requiring two doses spaced weeks apart. and then there's the question of where people should go to get it done safely during a pandemic. >> and those include drive-throughs at fire stations, car washes, ice houses it also includes scheduling patients at five, ten and 15 minute intervals. >> reporter: each step in the distribution process equally critical >> we're playing a part of the covid vaccine, feels good to be part of it. >> reporter: he says delivering the vaccine will be just as important as developing it. stephanie gosk, nbc news, cambridge, massachusetts. up next, what the airlines are doing to save tens of thousands of jobs.
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we need to tell you about an alert that a dangerous dare sweeping tiktok, the fda asking the popular social media app to remove so called benadryl challenge videos that encourage taking higher than recommended doses of the over the counter drug after reports of teens ending up in the emergency room the fda warns it can cause serious health problems and even death, tiktok has now disabled hashtags related to that challenge. as airlines fight for survival the cdc revealing thousands of passengers were exposed to coronavirus on planes, that news as the emergency funds to help airlines
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operate will soon run out. we have more from tom costello. >> reporter: from the laboratory to the cockpit, the new cleaning protocols are all about reassuring passengers it's safe to fly a recent cdc investigation looked at 1,600 people who flew while at risk of spreading covid. identifying nearly 11,000 people who may have been exposed. while some did contract covid it's not clear whether it was because of that exposure many infectious disease experts say modern air circulation systems make airplane air about the cleanest you could breathe. >> the risk of being on an airplane for some period of time is less than being any other indoor space for some period of time, in my opinion. >> reporter: despite investing heavily in cleaning technology u.s. airlines are in deep trouble, passenger volume down 65% from a year ago. while congress provided $25 billion last spring to avoid massive layoffs, that money runs out on september 30th now airline ceos warn
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that without another $25 billion they'll be forced to lay off tens of thousands of pilots, flight attendants, ramp workers, ticket agents and office staff. >> there's very broad support. to avoid furloughs in the airline industry and extend the payroll support program through the end of march. >> reporter: by march airlines hope a vaccine will get passengers the confidence to start flying again but so far there's little appetite in washington to approve more money. why should the taxpayer send more money to the airlines instead of a thousand other businesses >> because our airline jobs keep a lot of other people employed. we have six days left to get something done before we fall off this cliff where, say, 100,000 employees are going to be out of their jobs -- >> reporter: already, 45,000 have left voluntarily. it's not just the airlines without government aid three quarters of a nation's hotels say they will have to lay off even more employees. half of hotel owners say they're already in danger of foreclosure. lester
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>> all right, tom costello, thanks, up next, the big wish that's inspiring america.
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even in tough times the make a wish foundation just keeps granting them. in tonight's inspiring america, joe fryer on a milestone, wish number 500,000 >> reporter: karina didn't just make a wish, she shares her wish. >> let's have some fun today.
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welcome to camp karina >> reporter: creating a virtua camp, watched by kids all across the globe. of all the wishes you could make why was this your wish >> making people happy really is fulfilling >> reporter: camp karina packed with activities led by other kids who've had their wishes granted. >> abracadabra. >> reporter: magic show by seth music by miles. >> one, and -- >> reporter: the dance class by jenna. >> it made me feel very, like, happy for them. >> reporter: campers even learned how to draw olaf from "frozen," the surprise message from the snowman's voice. actor josh gad >> i'm sending you all lots of virtual warm hugs. >> it went beyond my expectations. >> reporter: for 16-year-old karina who has finished treatment for hodgkin's lymphoma sometimes she says you have to fake a smile for the sake of those around you >> with this camp my goal is that children get to actually have a good time. that is my -- is my goal overall is to give them truthful joy. >> reporter: wish granted?
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>> wish granted, yes, really did it brought me joy too. >> reporter: even in 2020, wishes really do come true. joe fryer, nbc news. and that's nightly news for this evening. thank you for watching, everyone i'm lester holt, please take care of yourself, and each other. good night ♪ used to spend my nights out in a barroom ♪
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♪ liquor was the only love i'd known ♪ ♪ but you rescued me from reachin' for the bottom ♪ ♪ and brought me back from bein' too far gone ♪ ♪ you're as smooth as tennessee whiskey ♪ ♪ you're as sweet as strawberry wine ♪ ♪ you're as warm as a glass of brandy ♪

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